QUEBEC — “With trans issues, what’s the difference between somebody who’s legitimately, this is who they are, and someone who’s just self-identifying? We don’t put any line on it anymore. If you say you are, you are, and that’s what’s kinda nuts.”
That quote comes from comedian D.L. Hughley as reported in an article on The Blaze site, and it pretty much sums up how a lot of suspicious people are thinking these days — from conservative right-wing types in the United States and isolated parts of Canada to fairly liberal people like Hughley, who pokes fun at life in all its forms.
There was a time — not that long ago — when a transgender person was more commonly defined as a transsexual person, usually a born-male who took steps to gender transition to live life as a female. It was a fairly rare occurrence, and was considered by many in the general public to be a correction of a biological/physiological anomaly. It was accepted as such; even the anti-LGB right-wingers didn’t have a lot to say about it.
Then came the explosion of transgenderism during the last 10 years, with more and more people today saying they “self-identify” as female but taking few if any steps to physically transition, i.e. with hormones and surgery. Their argument: just because one self-identifies as a female doesn’t mean they should have to surgically or even hormonally alter their bodies, with all the inherent risks involved. And many places in the world agree, granting those trans people official gender designation changes without any real physical criteria, including not having to dress and live as females for a year or two as was the previous benchmark, among others.
To put it in simple terms, people like Hughley and many right-wingers are having a hard time accepting the idea of a woman with a penis. And, thanks to scare tactics employed by many right-wing organizations, they have visions of said women with penises showering in locker rooms with natural-born women and little girls. They’re freaking out over the prospect — and they worry that it is out of control.
It does seem that the line between “transsexuals” of yesterday and “self-identified” (MtF) transgender people of today — many of whom don’t even consider themselves to be women, but prefer the “transgender” designation — is indeed very blurred.
One can’t blame Hughley for feeling there is no line at all anymore.
Most of the controversy, of course, is about trans women with “dicks” being in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. At least, that’s what some right-wingers want you to believe. But, in fact, it goes much deeper for some of them: they simply hate all LGBT people, and will attack them any way they can. If that weren’t the case, then this whole bathroom/locker room issue could be solved quite simply by redesigning such facilities so they would be gender neutral and at the same time give everyone the privacy they need. But right-wingers never suggest that: they would sooner deny trans people equal rights than spend a few bucks to change the facilities.
Hughley is no right-winger from what I can see, though I must confess that I had never heard of him before. He doesn’t hate LGBT people. He doesn’t want to put us in concentration camps and starve us to death, as some so-called Christians have suggested.
He just doesn’t get today’s transgenderism. And a lot of people are in the same proverbial boat. They don’t understand it.
The LGBT community, especially trans people, need to understand this. Not everybody who questions transgenderism and expresses concerns about the bathroom/locker room issue is an anti-LGBT bigot.
LGBT people need to educate. And they also have to accept that some people will always be uncomfortable with the thought of LGBT lifestyles. That’s their privilege, but they need to be reminded that their hangups can’t be allowed to prevent LGBT people from having equal civil rights. Of course, the anti-LGBT religious types will never listen to reason — they only see their narrow views and parameters. But people like Hughley might . . .